Viewing page 21 of 47

Religious Beliefs
The old Aztec empire after becoming a Spanish appendage was soon brought under the rule of the Roman Church and at the beginning of the eighteenth century its priests had penetrated as far as the Coast Counties of Southern California, spreading thence into the interior of the vast and dangerous section since divided into the states of California and Nevada and the territories of New Mexico and Arizona.
Upward of two scores of Missions were established along the Pacific from that of San Bernardino to that of San Francisco. In their efforts at propagation the holy fathers made it a point to change the old names of the tribes and christen them anew after some saint either picked out at random out of the Calendar or some especial favorite - or patron of the different communities. Hence we have the "Akhatchamas", who coming under the sway of the Mission of San Juan Capistrano became known there afterward as the San Juaneños and it requires some degree of ingenuity and patience in researches to recognize the old "Gaitchims" under the appellation of San Luiseños from the mission San Luis Rey. 
By the same process of Christianization the "Kauvuyas" and "Tackhtams" became appendages in name, as well as in everything else, of the mission of San Bernadino. 
The resistance of the Indians, however, to the new state of affairs, increased in strength in the same ratio as the distance between their abode and the mission which claimed spiritual and temporal jurisdiction over them and the Mahhaos, Pah-Utes, Chemehuevis, Yumas and Cocopahs never came under priestly rule - or if they did, its effect on them was so small as to be imperceptible. 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact